The Heart's Strength -- Book Two of The Briarcrest Chronicles
The Heart's Strength was nominated for
The women of Briarcrest continue to show their mettle as the story, set in the
Renaissance, continues in The Heart’s Strength–Book Two of The Briarcrest
Chronicles. Lydia and Catherine have become the caretakers of Briarcrest, and
when a letter arrives from Catherine’s old friend and former assistant, Sarah
Pritchard, Catherine sets out on a journey that is both dangerous and embroiled
When Catherine encounters an old friend in Willowglen, she forges a friend-
ship with his daughter, Fiona--a tall, blue-eyed, raven-haired beauty. Fiona
becomes an important ally when two churchmen from Spain set the town in
turmoil claiming the authority of the Inquisition—with young Cate Pritchard
at the center. Catherine calls upon Fiona for assistance and the young
woman proves to be a loyal friend when she agrees to help Catherine to
clear Cate’s name.
From their first meeting, Cate and Fiona are drawn to one another; however,
Fiona refuses to act on her feelings out of loyalty and the oath that she has
given Catherine. Cate, for her part, is uncertain about what to do with the
new feelings she experiences for Fiona—and one of the priests has a deep,
dark secret—and an ulterior motive for coming to Willowglen.
Finally, Lydia’s arrival in the town brings everything to a head and the
women of Briarcrest, the Pritchards, and Fiona find themselves at the center
of a terrible struggle—and each must each dig deeply to find strength of heart
amid the battle against the injustices they encounter. But will they all survive
the ordeal? Find out in Book Two—The Heart’s Strength.
Late Winter, 1481
The castle door opened with barely a touch, swinging noiselessly inward.
Striding purposely the length of the Hall, he saw her near the hearth,
dressed in splendor. Her auburn hair shone in the glow of the firelight.
Her head was wreathed in flowers and ribbons. His heart beat faster as
he approached, and she turned to him. Looking into her eyes, he felt
Soon, he would have her, touch her, take her to himself. He gazed into
her striking gray-green eyes. A beautiful smile lit her face, sparking
unaccustomed joy in his whole being. He broke into a run, closing
the distance faster and faster, his only thought on his prize…her.
Almost within reach, he took a misstep, faltered, and plummeted out
of control. He tumbled toward her, but he didn’t care. Her loving arms
would gather him to her breast—her lovely breast—that would finally
comfort him. He had wanted her for so long.
Time slowed as he fell toward her; he thrust his arms out. She opened
hers to receive him, and his heart fluttered. Incongruously, just as he
reached her, she took one quick step to the side. He careened headlong
toward the fire, his efforts to gain control of his movements futile.
Stumbling into the hearth, he was quickly engulfed by the flames.
The heat burned his face, his hands, his leaden legs. He cried out
an elongated “No!” and opened his eyes with a start.
Cold darkness surrounded him. His eyes stung with a fierce pain as
he wiped the sweat from his face. His chest heaved, not from the joy
and anticipation of finally possessing the woman, but from fear and
agony over the fate to which he had succumbed in his night terror.
Not the first time this vision had visited him in his sleep, the memory
haunted him. He could not stop shivering. Wrapping his arms around
his chest, he heaved a great shuddering sigh.
Ever since he had gotten word that she was alive, that she had not
perished as he had thought, this vision came to him when sleep would
not let go of him. Night after night, he avoided slumber because of the
dream, but when he could no longer stay awake, he fell into the same
trap. He would reach her in great anticipation and utter joy. She would
finally embrace him. But each time, his hopes were dashed as the dream
ended with him perishing in the fire.
He struggled to find some meaning to it. Was it a message? Punishment
from the Almighty for him thinking of her now, desiring her again, after
all these years? How could a God he no longer believed in inflict punish-
ment on him? He couldn’t help his fascination for the woman. It was her
fault. If only she hadn’t been so willful all those years ago, perhaps they
could have been together as he had desired. He would never have lost
his temper and beaten her, leaving her for dead on the doorstep of St.
In the darkness of his priory cell, he clutched his torso to protect himself
against the recurring image of the fire. He breathed in the cold, damp winter
air. His tremors finally quieted, but his obsessive thoughts did not.
He had to have her, but how? He would think of a way, he must.
Furtado has done her homework. She brings springtime in the early
Renaissance period of England to life. Her wonderful descriptions of
the hustle and bustle of Willowglen…wake all of the reader's senses.
She also shows how easily people can be swayed and controlled by
those in power, and how quickly those who step outside the norm can
be condemned. Her characters are well drawn, likeable, and with motives
that are understandable to 21rst. century women. They also cross
generational lines, making them interesting to readers in different age
The Heart's Strength is an exciting
read, and…definitely has some delightful
love scenes, as well as some clanging of swords. While it is the second book
in the series, it stands alone on its own merit.
RLynn - Just About Write (Dec 2007) [non-rating site]
You never know how strong your heart [is] until faced with the greatest
of tests....In her second book, The Heart's Strength, [Furtado] has shown
her writing style to be captivating, weaving together a masterful tale fr[a]ught
with danger, intrigue and romance.
Joyce McNeil - Amazon.com (Nov 2007)
There is suspense, drama and a hair-raising rescue attempt at the end. The
characters are appealing and draw the reader into their stories, making the
reader want to know what happens to them.
Sage320 - Amazon.com (Nov 2007) and Just About Write (Dec 2007)
More reviews to come....please check back again later.
Buy the Book:
Buy the Briarcrest Chronicle books
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